Recorded at Virtual AIHce EXP 2020
A key concern in facilities working with flammable liquids and powders is the initiation of a flash fire or explosion by electrostatic discharges. A flammable atmosphere is created when a critical amount of a fuel (e.g., flammable vapor/gas/aerosol/dust) is mixed with air. Ignition of flammable atmospheres can occur when the energy of the ignition source exceeds the minimum ignition energy of the flammable atmosphere. An electrostatic ignition source is a discharge (a spark) resulting from the generation and accumulation of electrostatic charges. Electrostatic charge generation most frequently occurs when any two materials (liquids and/or solids) make contact with each other and then separate. For example, when liquids flow relative to pipe walls or are atomized or when powder particles come into contact with the surfaces of the processing and conveying equipment. Accumulation of electrostatic charge on an object can result in electrostatic discharges. A flash fire or an explosion hazard therefore exists during the transfer, handling, processing (including spraying), and packaging of flammable liquids and powders. Precautions must be taken to prevent inadvertent ignition and to protect people and the facility against the effects of explosions.
Upon completion, the participant will be able to:
- Describe how electrostatic charge is generated in industrial environments.
- Recognize the electrostatic hazards that can trigger industrial fires and explosions.
- Choose methods to evaluate and control electrostatic charge.
Vahid Ebadat, Ph.D.,Stonehouse Process Safety, Lawrenceville, NJ, United States of America